Protestors are apparently attempting to intimidate Supreme Court justices because of a draft opinion overturning Roe. v. Wade. Though it’s likely illegal, President Joe Biden doesn’t want to do a thing about it.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would “continue to encourage” demonstrations “outside of judges’ homes, Breitbart reported. However, these protests could be a violation of federal law.
The court’s preliminary decision rescinding the decades-old precedent was made public in an unprecedented leak. Since then, protestors have been showing up in the residential neighborhoods where Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts reside.
However, according to Title 18 of the U.S. Code, section 1507, it is illegal to protest outside of the home of a judge in order to exert influence. When asked whether the president thinks these demonstrations in front of the justices’ homes are permissible, Psaki doubled down on her original statements of support.
Psaki insisted Biden’s “longstanding view has been that violence, threats, and intimidation of any kind have no place in political discourse,” she said. “And we believe, of course, in peaceful protest,” Psaki added.
The press secretary attempted to further deflect by mentioning other protests outside of officials’ homes, though none were Supreme Court Judges. Psaki contended that these protests are “peaceful” and that “we certainly continue to encourage that outside of judges’ homes, and that’s the president’s position, but the silence is pretty deafening about all of the other intimidation that we’ve seen to a number of people.”
When a reporter pressed her on whether this amounted to intimidation, Psaki served up another helping of whataboutism. “Well, but I think that intimidation and protest, intimidation outside of the homes of school board members, the Michigan secretary of state, you know, intimidation and threats, against people seeking legal reproductive health care [sic] and against our capitol and American democracy, also warrant some outrage, and we haven’t really seen that,” she claimed.
Protesting at these judges’ homes almost certainly amounts to intimidation and is clearly worse than picketing a place of business. However, the White House is perfectly content to let it continue because they think this is a motivating issue for Democratic voters.